Winifred Carney photographed with her mother, Sarah Carney, and her elder sisters, Maud and Mabel

Sarah Carney separated from her husband during Winifred’s childhood and earned her family’s income running a sweetshop on the Falls Road in Belfast. Winifred’s elder sisters, Maud and Mabel left Belfast to become nuns. Maud worked in Birmingham and joined Sisters of Nazareth in Liverpool and Mabel joined the Bon Secours and nursed incurables in the United States.